“For your Father knows that things that you need…….Give us this day our daily bread……”  Matthew 6:8,11

“Behold I will rain bread from heaven for you………”   Exodus 16:4

“Give us this day our daily bread…….”; let that phrase sink in for a moment.  Say it over again: “Give us this day our daily bread” Hmm seems a little lacking doesn’t it?  In today’s world, by today’s standards, is that really an appropriate request?  I mean why only a day’s bread?  I think I would feel much safer if you gave me a week’s, or maybe a month’s; heck I’ve got room, let’s make it a quarter’s bread.  And bread?  Just bread?  Even you, Jesus, said we don’t live by bread alone, so I think I need to add more to that; what about mortgage payment or rent, and clothes and oh yes my car is about worn out!  That’s the way we would look at a proper request today isn’t it?

So let’s take a look at a well known instance of the Our Heavenly Father supplying bread.  The Israelites have been in bondage for generations in Egypt.   They cry out to God and He sends a leader in the person of Moses to lead them out.  As you know through a series of signs and plagues, God shows His power to not only the Egyptians but also the Israelites.  Pharaoh is convinced to let the Israeli people go and off into the wilderness they head.  Now a little ways into their journey they enter into the Wilderness of Sin (you have to love the irony of that place) and start to complain about the desolate nature of the place and that they are afraid of starving to death.  In fact they go as far as to say they wish they were back in Egypt as slaves.

So the story is set.  These people; these people who have seen all the great works of God, who time and time again have been saved by the sheer power, mercy and grace of God start to complain against Him.  If He were you and I, we’d probably let them starve at least until they stopped complaining.  At the very least if we supplied them with something, we’d make sure it tasted nasty and we gave them a very little bit to teach them a lesson.  Our perhaps finally, if we decided to feed them, we’d make sure they had to go far and jump through many hoops to collect it.  God, in His amazing mercy and patience handles it differently.

God appears to them in a cloud and declares He has heard their complaining.  Instead of punishing them, He declares that He is going to feed them; succulent meat in the evening and bread in the morning.  This bread is going to appear right outside their camp and all they have to do is pick it up.  He tells them to only gather enough for the day.  Those that try to gather more, the extra they gather turns moldy and smells; can’t be eaten.  Only on the sixth day will they collect two days worth of bread to allow for rest on the sabbath (God is consistent in His Commandments).  And just like He promised, the next morning bread appears; not some stale, tasteless bread but it was very special bread with a taste like it was made from honey.

Now if there are those that think this is somewhat a minimalist response, let’s look at this in a greater context of what the people of Israel needed at that time.  Remember first, God had already freed them from bondage.  But weren’t they a poor, desolate people scrounging across the desert? Hardly, scripture tells us that the Egyptian people so wanted the Jews gone that they showered them with gold, silver, clothes and many other possessions and animals just to get them out of there.  So you see, the Jews did not want for material things.  But in the wilderness you can’t eat gold or silver.  There riches were useless for they had no place to go and purchase any food.  Okay so they had things; but they were lost weren’t they?  After all they were in a wilderness.  Again, scripture tells us that God had every step planned.  They were not lost.  In fact God let them know that He was building them into a Holy Nation that would inherit a land flowing with milk and honey.  God knew what they needed at the very time:  food.  And even while they seemed spitefully ungrateful; He supplied their needs, out of Love and Compassion.

The God of Israel’s wilderness is the very same God of today, tomorrow, for eternity.  Dear sisters and brothers, Our Heavenly Father has a plan and in that plan every step of ours is accounted for.  His plan is perfect and we can be absolutely sure that its destination is our promised land.  And like the Jews leaving Egypt; He will equip us generously to meet every need.  Yet we have an enemy; Satan, who will try to convince us, His enough is not enough.  Jesus tells the parable of the never satisfied man.  He fills his barns, that should be good enough, right? No he tears down his barns, builds bigger barns and then fills them; satisfied now, right? Not this guy; down come the barns up and filled come the bigger ones.  Now he is satisfied and ready to live his satisfied life.  That very night, the man dies.

Scripture tells us that Jews ate what God had given them and were completely satisfied.  Sisters and brothers; His supplied daily bread is enough.  Not just barely enough, not just some eking out of existence; completely enough, completely satisfying, all that we need.  And He promises, that daily bread will come, daily.  Every today will have the bread we need so there is no need to be concerned about or feel responsible for tomorrow.  Let each of us strive to count upon, be satisfied with and grateful for His daily bread.  God knows, it is all we will ever need.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we thank You that You have seen fit to allow us to come to You with our supplications, requiring nothing of us first.  Forgive us when we feel that, knowing more about our needs than You, we are not satisfied with the abundance You have supplied to us.  Help us to have a loving relationship with You that causes us to be confident in our reliance on You and to reject the world’s measurements on what should be satisfaction.  That we would live lives of contentment that show the world Your true nature of Mercy, Generosity and Love.  In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen

 

 

 

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